We had the good fortune of connecting with Celeste Chumlea and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Celeste, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
From a very early age, I caught the treasure hunting bug. And by early, I mean being pushed in a stroller at Round Top antique market by my mom and grandmother. As a child, I collected sterling silver jewelry, little animal figurines, and unique boxes. My mom taught me to examine each piece I was interested in carefully for any flaws, maker’s marks, dates, etc. to help determine value. She also taught me the art of flea market negotiating to ensure I was getting the best deal possible. Sifting through the junk to unearth a special item was like discovering buried treasure – I was soon addicted to the thrill of the hunt.

My quest to collect unique finds continues into adulthood. I was working a corporate job in the fashion industry and I found myself using my lunch breaks to go to estate sales or thrift stores to hunt for vintage. I’ve always loved vintage esthetic because it reminds me of my grandparents, Wesley and Rose, and their beautiful, quintessential mid-century home. A home full of beautiful relics that were so much more special than the mass-produced items you find at big retailers today.

Through my sourcing, I began to amass more curios than one person needs but I couldn’t stop. I wanted to continue to find unique vintage pieces and give them new life in a new home where they would be appreciated and repurposed rather than end up in a landfill. I wanted to do the dirty work of sifting through what is usually a lot of junk, to find the diamonds in the rough and share these with others. I was actually standing in line at an estate sale speaking to the stranger in front of me about wanting to start a vintage resell business but was feeling uncertain about it. He could sense the hesitation around wanting to start my own business and said, “What’s the worst that could happen? You have a phone with a camera and a white wall in your home, right? Start that shit today!” I immediately went home and created my website that day with my first product listings – Wesley and Rose Curiosity Shop was born!

What should our readers know about your business?
The purpose of Wesley and Rose Curiosity Shop is simple: I find unique treasures from decades past, I clean them up, I style them in a modern way all in an effort to keep vintage alive and well while reducing waste.

I’m happy to do the dirty work. I’ll tramp through muddy flea market fields, go into dark and musky basements, I’ve even been known to pull a discarded gem out of a dumpster. Then once I get the find home, I’ll clean it up, fix it up, breathe new life into it.

I think “antique” or “vintage” can often get a bad rap and I want to change that. For some, it might conjure up thoughts of dowdy doilies, kitschy tchotchke, or all around outdated oddities. Trust me, there is a lot of this out there but there is also so much good! Timeless designs that have been beautifully crafted to withstand the test of time. For me, it is important to source vintage items that can easily be styled into today’s modern home.

I want to take the guesswork out of how to style these items in your home. You’ll find me sharing complete “looks” that could all easily be incorporated into the same room of your home. For example, a piece of art with color coordinating glass decanters, a marble box, a beautiful catch-all tray, a brass object or two, and a coordinating lamp. All would look perfectly styled on your entryway table. Done and done!

I honestly believe you could stop the production of new home decor items today and there are enough beautiful items out there in the world that could be repurposed instead. If I can help customers incorporate vintage pre-loved pieces into their homes instead of new mass-produced items then my work is done! That’s what gets me so excited about what I do!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
First things first, a trip to the Design District. Benny Jack Antiques, Lula B’s, and Scout Design are all must-do’s for shopping followed by an incredible meal at Town Hearth.

Deep Ellum is also a must see for out of town guests. You can’t go wrong with Tex-Mex from Pepe and Mitos and a stop at Flea Style. Followed by stops at my other favorite small businesses: Dolly Python, The Plant Project, and Fount Board & Table.

If the timing works out, a trip out to Canton for 1st Monday Trade Days flea market is a must, of course!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My mom deserves the credit for my love all things old. She taught me the value of second hand shopping from an early age. We frequented antique malls, thrift stores, and flea markets growing up to find everything for our home. I can’t think of a single furniture or decor item in our home that came from a big box store. She has taught me what quality looks like, feels like, or even sounds like so you know when you’ve found something truly special.

I’m pretty sure at first, she thought I was crazy to start this business (after years of being on the other side as a customer) but she has certainly come around and is my biggest supporter. I can’t help but call her anytime I find something incredible because she is just as excited as me. She’s my biggest cheerleader!

Website: https://www.wesleyandrosecuriosityshop.com

Instagram: @wesleyandrosecurios

Facebook: Wesley and Rose Curiosity Shop

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